Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 15 (FN Agency) Presenting the state budget for FY 2021-22 on Friday, Kerala Finance Minister Dr Thomas Isaac announced that eight lakh new jobs will be created during this financial year. Presenting his 12th and the 6th budget of the Pinarayi Vijayan government, the Finance Minister said the budget will address unemployment issues being faced by people due to the COVID pandemic. Beginning his budget speech by thanking all COVID warriors, the minister said the budget is a development document of COVID affected Kerala which provided all necessary funds to the health department for tackling COVID-19. The economic growth of Kerala declined to 3.1 percent due to COVID related economic slowdown, he said adding that 20 lakh jobs will be created in the digital platforms in the next 5 years as part of an action plan to resolve the issue of unemployment.
Announcing that 4,000 new posts will be created in the health department, he said welfare pension will be increased by Rs 100 to Rs 1,600. “The procurement price of coconut will be increased to Rs 32 and paddy to Rs 28. The Minimum Support Price of rubber will be increased to Rs 170,” the minister said. Announcing that local bodies will be granted Rs 1,000 crore for development activities, he said Rs 15,000 crore worth KIIFB projects will be implemented in the coming year. The budget proposes 11.02 lakh new drinking water connections and construction of 11,580 kilometre roads. Stating that Rs 120 crore will be spent for NRI welfare schemes, he said various training programmes will be organised for providing training to 50 lakh unskilled workers in the state. Giving special attention to various Technoparks in Kerala, the minister announced Rs 22 crore for development of Techno Park, Rs 36 crore for development of Info Park, Rs 12 crore for development of Cyber Park, Rs 40 crore for Kerala Innovation Challenge and Rs 50 crore for start-up projects.
Announcing that 20,000 job opportunities will be created under various start-up projects, he said KIIFB will provide Rs 125 crore for major universities. Allocating Rs 5 crore to the Higher Education Council, the budget approves 197 courses. It also granted Rs 150 crore for digitalizing classrooms in affiliated colleges. Every household from the marginalised sections will be provided laptops at half the price, he said adding 25 percent subsidy will be given to the BPL category for buying laptops.